There’s no warrantless pursuit resolutions between East Cleveland and Cleveland

CLEVELAND, OH – There’s a key element to Ohio’s warrantless pursuit statute that has been consistently ignored about Cleveland police crossing East Cleveland’s borders that have caused numerous deaths over the years.  Section D of R.C. 2953.03 requires there be an agreement that authorizes it between municipal corporations in the same territory.  No agreement.  Don’t cross the border. 

“If a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, municipal police officer, member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under division (D) of section 3735.31 of the Revised Code, member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under division (Y) of section 306.35 of the Revised Code, special police officer employed by a port authority under section 4582.04 or 4582.28 of the Revised Code, special police officer employed by a municipal corporation at a municipal airport or other municipal air navigation facility described in division (A) of this section, township constable, police officer of a township or joint police district, state university law enforcement officer appointed under section 3345.04 of the Revised Code, peace officer of the department of natural resources, individual designated to perform law enforcement duties under section 511.2321545.13, or 6101.75 of the Revised Code, the house sergeant at arms if the house sergeant at arms has arrest authority pursuant to division (E)(1) of section 101.311 of the Revised Code, or an assistant house sergeant at arms is authorized by division (A) or (B) of this section to arrest and detain, within the limits of the political subdivision, metropolitan housing authority housing project, regional transit authority facilities or those areas of a municipal corporation that have been agreed to by a regional transit authority and a municipal corporation located within its territorial jurisdiction … if all of the following apply:

I did not ask East Cleveland city council for permission to enter an agreement with any municipal corporation that authorized warrantless pursuits into East Cleveland.  No mayor since or before me, including Darryl Pittman as the first in 1986, ever entered such an agreement to authorize warrantless pursuits into the city. 

Convicted tax cheat Scott Gardner has now twice failed to protect East Cleveland residents from deadly unlawful warrantless pursuits into the city. He was at the crime scene of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams’ 137 bullet slaughter behind Heritage Middle School in 2012. He and Cleveland police union boss Jeffrey Folmer talked. Folmer should have been arrested by Gardner on the scene for separating the shooters and not allowing anyone to talk to question them. Instead he let a “union president to union president” relationship obstruct him from performing the official duties of a law enforcement officer on East Cleveland’s behalf.  I suspended him twice and refused to promote him to sergeant.

East Cleveland city council and Cleveland’s city council would have been required to enact separation resolutions authorizing the agreement.  The resolutions would have provided instructions to law enforcement officers on each side on how to handle warrantless pursuits.  None exist.  Every municipal corporation whose law enforcement officers have entered the city since I left has violated it if the statute’s plain English language is the guiding instruction. 

My instructions to East Cleveland police officers before my four year term expired on December 31, 2009 were to arrest any police officer who entered the city’s borders from another municipal corporation.  They were instructed not to enter another city’s borders.  I advised the mayors and city managers who I didn’t enter agreements with that their police officers would be arrested.  They had permission to arrest East Cleveland cops.  I instructed Ralph Spotts to inform the surrounding chiefs of police.

Each municipal corporation’s authority is sovereign. Scott Gardner in his official capacity as East Cleveland’s chief of police possesses no legal authority to authorize Cleveland cops to investigate their crimes inside the municipal corporation that employs him.  Employees have no contract signing authority that binds aa municipal corporation under Ohio law.  The mayor is the contract signatory on all municipal contracts except those entered by the council for the council; or the judge for the court.

Without agreements entered between city councils in the same territories the warrantless pursuits outside municipal corporations are not authorized by law.

Without resolutions from East Cleveland and Cleveland city council authorizing police officers to pursue across each municpal corporation’s borders, Gardner and sergeant Larry McDonald should have led East Cleveland police officers to arrest and seek criminal charges against the Cleveland cops who entered the city.  Even now it’s their duty to confirm and not simply accept the lawfulness of the warrantless pursuit that began with a Target Department Store security guard leaving private property to pursue a teen who didn’t have authorization to use the vehicle he took.

East Cleveland’s negligence in enforcing R.C. 2935.03 won’t help the city when Tamia Chapman’s family sues. Gardner’s decision to let Cleveland cops investigate their own crime creates yet another liability for East Cleveland taxpayers on top of the more then $100 million law enforcement impersonators like him have generated to crush the city’s future. 

East Cleveland sergeant Larry McDonald was laid off by this writer because he just didn’t have the intellectual capacity for police work. That didn’t stop Cleveland and University Circle from hiring; or Brandon King from making him a commander. But what he should have done was led East Cleveland cops to arrest Cleveland cops for entering the city’s borders without a warrantless pursuit agreement between his council and Clevelands.

Gardner should be criminally charged, again, for failing to perform the duties of the job he holds as a police chief with two convictions based on felony indictments.  The individual impersonating East Cleveland’s director of law without an oath of office and bond should do something now to protect East Cleveland’s rights and defenses by ordering the investigation of Cleveland police and their warrantless pursuit that Gardner didn’t.  There are discrepancies about the Caller’s identity.

Cleveland identified the nature of the call as being a police officer, EMS, fire or auxiliary worker in trouble.  There was no law enforcement officer in trouble.  The person who made the call and pursued worked for Target Department Store as a security guard. 

It doesn’t matter that he also worked for Cleveland as a cop.  He left private property in a Chevy Silverado.  Describing him as a law enforcement officer is a cover-up East Cleveland cops have a duty to investigate.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.


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